Ars Literarium Volume 4

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S Srinidhi

Ars Literarium Volume IV Ars Literarium is published annually by the Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism and Medicine at New Jersey Medical School


Ars Literarium Volume IV

Ars Literarium Council Members Dorian J. Wilson, MD Director of the Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism and Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Tanya Norment Program Administrator of the Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism and Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Faculty Advisors Beth A. Pletcher, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Rutgers New Jerseyy Medical School Andrew Berman, MD Professor of Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Editors-In-Chief Somnath Ganapa, MS-1 Srinidhi Shanmugasundaram , MS-1 Editors Zahra Bakhtiar, MS-1 Julia Burns, MS-1 Vanya Jain, MS-1 Ziyao Lu, MS-1 Alexandre Martinho, MS-1 Stephen Ronay, MS-1 Ibraheem Shaikh, MS-1 Usha Trivedi, MS-1


Acknowledgements Ars Literarium’s annual publication is possible due to the support of The Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism and Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. With special appreciation and gratitude to The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey for their generous support. Thank you to Tanya Norment, Dr. Pletcher, and Dr. Berman for their advice, mentorship, and guidance throughout the year.


Ars Literarium Volume IV

Mission Statement Ars Literarium seeks to express the medical narrative through the creative voices of the members of the Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences Campus in Newark, NJ. The journal provides an outlet for members of the community who spend endless hours managing the stresses and responsibilities of patient care to find peace through creative expression. Transforming memories or emotions from an intense day spent with patients into words or visual art allows for a stronger, healthier connection to the self and a deeper appreciation of the patient perspective.

For information, inquiries, and submissions, please email us at:


Dear Reader, Welcome to the fourth volume of Ars Literarium.

Throughout this year, we as students have attended countless lectures on physiology, anatomy, and disease pathology. However, the days we learned the most were when we would have the privilege of listening to patients, whether it be during a patient panel or during a shift at our student-run clinic. The realization that a disease in our textbook we have merely read about is the same disease rewriting a patient’s narrative is both disorienting and deeply humbling—it’s a feeling that reminds us to reflect, to not fall into the familiar pattern of searching for diagnoses, and to see past our titles and into the lives of our patients. In one of our book club meetings this year, we had the pleasure of delving into Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Airr, in which he states, “Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.” We invite you to not only appreciate the collection of poetry, prose, photography and artwork of our community members showcased in these pages, but also to grapple with and reflect on the messages that they carry. Like writing, reading too is a visceral experience. We hope that the stories shared by our growing community of physicians, nurses, public health professionals, students, and family members help connect us together in our shared mission of pursuing the art of medicine. Regards, Editors of Ars Literarium


Ars Literarium Volume IV

Table of Contents Cover Image by Srinidhi Shanmugasundaram


In Memory of Dr. Q by Daniel Oh


Dyed Sesame Seeds and Flower Petals by Dr. Stephen Peters


Newark, a jungle of concrete from the eyes of a Venezuelan doctor by Dr. Willy Roque


In Pursuit of Higher Ed by Elijah Ikhumhen


To my Patient by Dr. Shashank Jain


Memories of Med School by Dr. Mina Le


Med Student’s Feast by Jessica Sher


The Vessel Dweller by Chaden Noureddine


A Study of the Heart by Sushil Malhotra


A Breath of Flowers by Akash Ranpura


Study of Ixodes dammini by Chaden Nouredine


Epicenter by Kajal Shah


Epic Love by Chaden Noureddine


Under the Magnet by Milagros Seddiki


Detox Unit by Robert Henhaffer


Dictation by Dr. Sharon Gonzales


Depression by Christopher Jerone


Hope Never Fails by Macsu Hill


Artwork by Dr. Princess Curtis


Photographs by Farooq Alihassan


The Beast by Dr. Sharon Gonzales


Life in an Arid Place by Kirk Benackk



Sentence by Somnath Ganapa


After the Storm by Dr. Mina Le


News by Hilda Aluko


Do Not Harm by Milagros Seddiki


Little Girl, Little Boy by Dr. James Oleske


Freedom? by Priyadharshany Sandanapitchai


Certainty in Uncertainty by Hilda Aluko


American Midas by Michael Teters


Embers by Catherine Ye


White by Ibraheem Shaikh


For my abuelita who forgets by Sophia Lukac


Family by Elena Lukac


Photographs by Mahir Sufian



Ars Literarium Volume IV

In Memory of Dr. Q

Some called him Doc Some called him Q Some called him friend Some called him father For all that he is and more, may his spirit of kindness and genuineness forever remain in our hearts and souls. You will be missed Dr. Mark Quadrel, my hero in the mess we call health care.

Daniel Oh, PGY-1 Internal Medicine Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 10

Dyed Sesame Seeds and Flower Petals

These pictures were created to demonstrate the precision possible using a system of apparatus and techniques which I developed for embedding tissue for frozen section. It is called the Precision Cryoembedding System and it is now being used in about 4000 institutions around the world. The system allows dramatic improvements in both speed of preparation. This artwork was created to demonstrate the degree of precision possible using these techniques. The first picture is created using dyed sesame seeds. The second picture is flower petals and leaves. The blocks that are photographed are about 1 1/2 in diameter. Using the old methods you could not do this with two sesame seeds let alone 131.

Stephen Peters, MD Associate Professor of Pathology, Director of Surgical Pathology Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 11

Ars Literarium Volume IV

Newark, a concrete jungle in the eyes of a Venezuelan doctor Eternal cycles of chapters that open and close, Wandering in a jungle of obstacles, This time without the colors of my Amazon, But with gray stain that resembles a warming hug from home, Swimming in a pool of uncertainty and cultures, An imminent rebirth, A blank canvas, A cataclysm of joy that creates a new palette of colors, Opening of consciousness by knowledge, Occasional edibles of nostalgia, Slow passage of time in a field of concrete waiting for my brush, Who am I? An immigrant, an abstract painting.

Willy Roque, MD PGY-2 Internal Medicine Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 12

In Pursuit of Higher Ed they said slow and steady wins the race but at my slowest i get left behind-bradycardia so why not become the hare? but the faster i go the more beauty i miss as i skip and skip—-tachycardia shall i find comfort at the center? but anxiety encroaches and scurrying i am followed by a sudden slowness to the world as questions of, do i fit arise.....

Elijah Ikhumhen Class of 2019 Rutgers School of Graduate Studies 13

Ars Literarium Volume IV

To My Patient I walked into the room and could feel the tension, the anticipation you had, waiting for what I had to say. I stared longer than I wanted to, and finally began to talk, but all you wanted to know was, “How did I get this way?” I expected the question, wanted to be professional, you asked me “was this my fault, why did this happen doctor, why?” I took a deep breath, looked you straight in the eye, said “it was not your fault,” knowing all too well that this was a lie. The next few days went on, I the doctor and you the patient, but everyday sadness grew, the future was unknown and hope fading away. I tried to focus on the medicine, feeling like I was leaving my humanity behind, I wanted to comfort you, ease your pain, to do something to help in a human way. I found out it was your birthday and thought I would get you cake, when I came to your room you were sleeping, with your head turned away. I stood there a moment, watching as a tear rolled down your cheek, I turned to give you your space, but I stopped feeling like I had to stay. You opened your eyes, and thanked me for the cake, I sat at the edge of your hospital bed, with a heaviness in my soul. I felt like I had let you down, been the bearer of bad news constantly, I felt like I had seen you as a man with a disease, forgot to see you, as a whole. Now was my chance to be a friend not just your doctor, we talked, and you told me about your family, your home and your dreams. You told me your fears, and how you felt like you were letting everyone down, how you were scared and felt like your mind was tearing itself at the seams. I said “you are truly a nice man” a rarity these days, with a tear in my eye, I held your hand as you began to cry.


I said, “people like you restore my faith in humanity. do not ever change,” we both smiled, and wiped our tears away, again you asked: “why?” I explained that all was not lost, we still had a fighting chance, that you would need to make some changes, take your medications every day. That we would try our best, and we will not give up, I promised you would see your 3-year-old daughter someday. From that day on, you seemed a little more at ease, and less saddened, the medications made you better, doing all they can. With the light at the end of the tunnel, we both felt uplifted, I was thankful for this miracle, even though I am not a religious man. 3 months of being in that room, you were finally free, I wanted to say goodbye, to wish you all the best but I felt too sad. You went home I heard with your family, with hope renewed, I felt my humanity restored, as I relived the conversations we had. Months gone by, now you are a happy memory of my residency, still, I think of you once in a while, not as my patient but as my friend. I wish I could thank you, for I feel like you gave me back my hope, you may never know, but it’s you who cured me in the end.

Shahank Jain, MD Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 15

Ars Literarium Volume IV

Memories of Med School: Mrs. Velitnitsky In a private room at Faulkner Hospital on November 2005, Mrs. Elaine Velitnitsky (not her real name) lay alone and dying. She was 74 and a widow. She did have two children, but she didn’t have a good relationship with them, and so they never came to visit. The reason she was dying was that she wasn’t able to eat enough. A cancerous tumor had replaced the inside of her stomach, and the artificial liquid food that was pumped straight into her intestine simply ran out the other end, because her intestine’s absorptive lining had been inadvertently destroyed by chemotherapy. She had lost over a hundred pounds, so that her wrinkled skin hung in folds from her upper arms. Strands of her gray hair shed onto her dented pillow. Her face still had color, only from the rosacea over her bulbous nose. She felt bloated. A toilet on wheels stood close by her bed, and the room stank of her perpetual diarrhea. I thought her mouth must be so dry. The only thing she was allowed to eat was ice chips. As a ritualistic way to show her I cared, every day I brought her a styrofoam cup of ice chips and a plastic spoon. The puree-like substance that flowed into her feeding tube came in two “flavors,” vanilla and something honey-colored, and she told me that with repetition the odors had long ceased to be fragrant and were now merely cloying and nauseating. The chips of ice were therefore her last remaining connection to the world of food. Even though she was so desperately ill, Mrs. V., as I called her, saw far beyond her own personal situation. When we heard cries from the room across the hall, she wondered out loud what was happening with that patient. Seeing me as a third-year medical student on my first clinical rotation, she asked me if she was the first dying patient I had had (she was). And every day when I rounded on her, she rounded on me: she asked if I had been on call, whether I had slept enough, and if I had been keeping a journal as I ought. Now and then, once I was finished with my duties, I would spend time with Mrs. V. in her room. We sat and watched a TV show about home remodeling. We did a vocabulary quiz in Reader’s Digest. I went online and printed out word-find puzzles for her. She told me about the ring she wore, how her dad had fashioned it by beating out two rings worn by him and her mother and then reshaping the metal, so that with a single piece of hand jewelry she could commemorate her parents both. We got along rather better than she got along with social worker or with my attending. They also visited her regularly, but when she was alone with me she would mimic their speech with a “blah blah blah” gesture of her hand. One night I was done with my other patients at 1:30 AM, and thought I’d drop in on her. I figured that thoughts of her imminent death would be keeping her awake. Indeed she was sitting up and making ready to go to the commode. I falsely concluded from this that she was awake, and I made the wrong decision to help physically support her through the toilet process, only belatedly realizing that she was sleepwalking or drugged up. She stumbled on her way back into bed, and although I was able to break her fall, I was not strong enough to lift her from the bed’s edge where she lay halfway on the floor, now giggling faintly. I used the nurse call button to summon help, and a nurse’s assistant helped me tuck her back in. 16

As the days passed, and as the doctors’ experiments with her feeding tube continued to fail, they began to press her to choose hospice. My resident and intern sent me in to have the dreaded Code Status Discussion with her, because they saw that she and I had “the best rapport.” But every day she gave the same answer, namely that she was not yet ready to go to her deathbed. She said that she would ideally like to make a trip back to Cape Cod to get her affairs in order. She wanted to write letters. Alas, she said that once she had gotten ready the paper and pen, she felt too weak to write a word. I asked her how she felt about letting go of life. She said in a brief voice, as though her claim to it was ending, “Well, life is for the living.” At last it seemed to me that they made the decision for her, not waiting. With her life expectancy now hovering around three weeks, they brought in a stretcher to take her away, though her degree of consent remained equivocal. Who in her place would be able to actively say yes? She wrote down my mailing address and said she would write to me from the hospice. The letter never came. I was saddest about what they had inscribed on the hospice transfer form, under Additional Patient Information: “Enjoys ice chips.”

Mina Le, MD Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 17

Ars Literarium Volume IV

Med Student’s Feast

Comments: Charcuterie: caseous necrosis, pyloric stenosis olive, herringbone pattern, nutcracker syndrome, anchovy paste hepatitis, raisinoid koilocytes, bread and butter pericarditis Fruit bowl: pear-shaped uterus, peau d’orange, strawberry tongue, cherry red epiglottis/macula Snacks: chocolate cyst, blueberry muffin rash, blue donut cells Drinks: cafe au lait spots, coffee bean nuclei, port wine stain, coca cola urine Misc: dinner fork deformity, spoon-shaped nails, salt & pepper retinopathy

Jessica Sher Class of 2021 Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 18

The Vessel Dweller The Vessel Dweller I am birthed into a pool of life. All I see is red. All I smell is steel. I dance across the walls of my home, forever twirling into closed labyrinths. I am loved for I give my core for others’ sake. For their survival. I am the wanderer. I spend my days traveling up and down streams, wide and thin, full, and empty. I am life; for without me there wouldn’t be you; for without me these words couldn’t have been written. I am the vessel dweller.

Chaden Noureddine Class of 2022 Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 19

Ars Literarium Volume IV

A Study of the Heart

Sushil Malhotra Information Systems and Technology University Hospital, Newark, NJ 20

A Breath of Flowers

Akash Ranpura Class of 2022 Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 21

Ars Literarium Volume IV

Study of Ixodes dammini

Chaden Noureddine Class of 2022 Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 22

Epicenter Twelve pairs of critical eyes Floating over white coats stare at me “Uhm...” I look at the shaking paper in my hand The shaking seems to spread from the paper Up to my arm To my chest And then up to my vocal cords Making my voice shake at the same frequency. Or is the epicenter my chest? It is hard to tell I run through my presentation In a series of not-so-confident run on sentences Punctuated by stretches of silences and more “Uhm....” The eyes are no longer looking. A resident yawns. The attending busies herself on the phone. I hit obstacle after obstacle The vitals... Should I go through them? Should I say the are unremarkable? Are they unremarkable? Maybe stable would be a better term?

Kajal Shah Class of 2019 Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 23

Ars Literarium Volume IV

Epic Love

Chaden Noureddine Class of 2022 Rutgers g New Jerseyy Medical School 24

Under the Magnet

Milagros Seddiki Rutgers School of Health Professions 25

Ars Literarium Volume IV

Detox Unit I work just beyond the shore line where nurses patrol the sand and pull the half floating bodies out of water. It’s a terrible thing to believe the world flat and want to sail to its end. They wash up on our island spared from finding the corners of the earth but heartbroken by the indifferent curve. Starved, they sip rain water and devour fish. I see them looking into its silvery blue flesh, dreaming of the oar’s final push that would launch them over the edge. We show them globes; spinning blue and green with familiar words bent softly in circles. no corners. Some find home and reluctantly put their finger on it. “Oh,” they tell me facing the low Western sun, tears collecting on their concave cheeks “flat maps are beautiful things to behold.” “You are a lucky fool. Build a house on land and forget the ocean.” Laughter. Eventually they sail away on a raft. Sometimes they take a small globe but always keep the old maps. Our island is where two trade winds cross. I work here, keeping my flat maps buried in the sand in a waterproof trunk.

Robert Henhaffer Peer Health Navigator Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care 26

Dictation #42561/Every body has a story A beautiful young woman This 16 year old female multitrauma Voluptuous and precocious Was status post fall, reportedly four stories. Had been lured into a bedroom She was found obtunded and polypharmacy After being fed a number of drinks So she was intubated and lined up in the field. Laced with all kinds of drugs She was taken to CT after trauma evaluation. That was given to her that day CT revealed a splenic laceration and a shattered pelvis By her mother’s new boyfriend. And signs of possible ongoing hemorrhage. He had his way with her She was then taken for emergent angiography. Until her mother came home DSA showed extravasation in the spleen. Rather unexpectedly from work. Three 18 gauge coils were deployed sub selectively So he threw her daughter out the window The repeat angiogram showed no further bleeding. As if outside no one would notice A bilateral angiogram of the pelvis The naked lady on the sidewalk. Revealed no evidence of hemorrhage. The ambulance came quickly The patient’s vitals subsequently stabilized. And took her away, lights ablazing She tolerated the procedure well All the way to the hospital And was returned to the SICU Where they poked and prodded her In stable but guarded condition. And treated her serious injuries. Trauma team was present, but family could not be informed. Where was her mother? Because her mother was reportedly at the police station. Why was she not with her daughter? She was bailing out her boyfriend.

Sharon Gonzales, MD Assistant Professor, Radiology Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 27

Ars Literarium Volume IV

Depression Deep and cold uncontrollable feelings rise Erupt like a silent volcano Painful and hurtful experiences lived Remain in the memories Empty but fill with sadness Seeking for solutions to end the pain Self-harm cannot heal Inquiring help is the best decision Optimistic vibes is what someone needs No more suicide, keep living.

Christopher Jerome Mental Health Specialist University Behavioral Health Care

Hope Never Fails We wait in silence for something Something that will bring good news Good news about our health, career, families Something that will bring good news Good news about our current situation One thing is for sure is that hope never fails Hope never fails if we are looking up and not down We wait in anticipation for something Something that will bring peace Peace that will comfort our hearts Something that will bring boldness Boldness that will allow us to conquer our fears One thing is for sure is that hope never fails

Macsu Hill Rutgers School of Nursing 28


Princess Curtis, MD Dermatology Department Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School 29

Ars Literarium Volume IV



Farooq Alihassan Mobile Crisis Response Unit Rutgers Behavioral Health Services 31

Ars Literarium Volume IV

The Beast I claim to be the one Who can tame the beast Be it society, or malady, Or accident made. I wade through stone halls Of blood and gore flowing free Wounded bodies brought to the altar Painstakingly cleaned, remedied, fixed Before the next onslaught Careful thought is the luxury Of those distant, far away From the carnage I see here. The war that rages outside Bursts through revolving doors Like waves unstoppable That spill onto floors still wet From mopped up red, yellow, brown, green. I work hard, fast, long for survival To the limits of tolerance Of pain, suffering, frustration, despair Ours, theirs, everyone’s‌ No time for accusations or recusals Just need to do what needs be done To serve as many as I can Do as I promised in the oath With my weapons of shining metal Sinuous thread, rays that see through Or potions run into veins To clean, remedy, fix The accident, society or malady. I claim to be the one But... When will the beast slay me?

Sharon Gonzales, MD Assistant Professor, Radiology Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 32

Life in an Arid Place Petrified Forest, Arizona 2018

Kirk Beneck Class of 2021 Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School 33

Ars Literarium Volume IV

Sentence In the style of Christopher Bakken The paroxysms of red coughing explained themselves through the MRI, the stark contrast between black background and blindingly white tumors that speckled his lungs; all at once, his years of striving to become a neurosurgeon thwarted, his powerful, disciplined body – trained to stand hours at the surgeon’s table – grew feeble and convulsed with back spasms, the tumors let him know they would not rest until they had captured all of him, the neurosurgeon who acted on others quickly became the acted upon, his life compressed into a few remaining months, just as the tumor would compress his spine.

Somnath Ganapa Class of 2022 Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 34

After the Storm On the last Monday of October 2012, New York and its surrounds were battening down for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, which threatened to wallop us with eleven feet of water that night. I had moved to the city just four months earlier, where after a grueling five-year surgical residency in Minneapolis, I was enjoying the respite of working nine to five in a lab on the Upper East Side. Remembering all the times I had grumbled about driving in to the hospital on nights and weekends while other people got to enjoy their lives, I was sorely tempted to curl up in my apartment during the New York superstorm and its aftermath, insulated these days from the demands of doctoring. Then I realized that when you carry these two letters after your last name, you can’t behave like everyone else. From those to whom much is given, much is expected, and all that. I wrote to the hospital attached to my lab, volunteering to be available around the clock, should they need help. The morning after the storm, I woke up to find I still had plumbing and power, and I felt buoyantly happy. My hospital had taken in some of the patients displaced from NYU Langone and found itself short-staffed. We volunteers reported to an auditorium, where I was assigned an overnight shift, 7:45 PM to 7:30 AM that night on an 18th-floor oncology ward. Although the volunteer director was aware that I was a physician, I was relegated to work as a patient companion: someone to fetch patients water to drink and keep them company. Presumably, the person normally filling this role was stranded at home by floodwater and couldn’t come in. It turned out that “working below my pay grade” translated to one of the most poignant experiences of my medical training. When I introduced myself as a patient companion that evening, and the nurses saw the “M.D.” and “Fellow” on my nametag, they looked up at my face with an admiration I have rarely seen since. Although I have now been a practicing surgeon for years, I have never been called an angel so many times as I was that night. I gave back rubs and foot rubs to ease the pain of metastatic cancer. I adjusted bedding and fetched things for my patients. I held hands and murmured comfort. In the small hours, I kept a nightlong vigil, listening to the creaky drip of antibiotic and the sonorous breath of sleep, and I felt renewal and peace. Every doctor in training should spend a night as a “sitter.” How else will you hear the moans, the desperate prayers in the night, the confessed fears surrounding tomorrow’s biopsy? When else will you find yourself kneeling on the floor washing your patient’s feet? I learned so much about class and infirmity and dignity and service and joy. For my part, I hope that I can remain the person I became that night, when I was given the opportunity.

Mina Le, MD Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 35

Ars Literarium Volume IV

News It can make you smile It can make you cry It can make you heave a sigh of relief It can make you ponder in distress It can turn your world around It can keep your world still It matters who is around when you hear it It matters who breaks it to you It matters how you receive it It matters how you share it It matters what you do or not do with it In the end it is what it is Nobody’s Eternal Wonder or Worry Sentence Because you decide the who, how and what surrounding it And a decision is made to allow it … break you … wake you … shake you … make you ….

Hilda Aluko, MSN, FNP-BC, APN-C Family Nurse Practitioner Rutgers School of Nursing, Rutgers Community Health Center 36

Do Not Harm There is a cold air, a brief silence and a calmness that is unexpected, There are people staring at each other. standing against the wall, with eyes so saddened that their shadow is hugging their pain. There are Busy hallways, swinging doors Running carts, squeaky wheels, stretchers, wheelchairs, Crying babies, mother drowning in tears. Chatter, screams, sirens, There are Happy faces Sad faces Worried faces Silent faces Stone faces Dead faces Praying hands, Flat lines Life and death, Together in one place met. The doctor rushes to the bedside The nurse takes the vitals, Respiratory therapist to the rescue. The MRI tech waiting A gasp of air A hopeless stare A cold room A white blanket Do not harm The sick. The broken-hearted, The unstable person, the screaming child, do not harm me says The cardiac patient on the stretcher, The old woman on the respirator. The young guy with broken ribs The young woman with a cough The little girl with a stomach ache, The old man with a stroke The overdosed teenager The pregnant lady on the operating table


Ars Literarium Volume IV The DNR on his way to the emergency room, do not harm me Can you see me, can you hear me, can you feel me. Can you heal me? I am fragile and weak I am scared and worried I am angry and weary I am sick I am in pain I am giving up Help me get well help me get strong, help me breathe, help me live, and if and only if you cannot, then let me rest in peace Do not harm ME.

Milagros Seddiki Rutgers School of Health Related Professions 38

Little Girl, Little Boy; Now Is the Time Little girl, little boy, where are you goingTaken’ away by a new plague? Little boy, little girl, why are you so frailWastin’ away from an OI? Little girl, little boy, where are your folksCalled away by HIV/AIDS? Little boy, little girl, why are you so sadLeft alone without a safe nest? Frail and poor, vulnerable and weak, An orphan, alone, with no one to care? Little girl, little boy, why will you dieNo medicine to treat this virus in you? Little boy, little girl are you so smallThat nobody worries what happens to you? Little girl, little boy are you so lostThat your name is unknown, on nobody’s list? Little boy, little girl have you only survivedAs someone’s tool or somebody’s toy? Lost and abandoned, without a safe home, Why have so few come to your aid? Little girl, little boy, some hear your cryBringing drugs to treat and food to eat. Little boy, little girl, please stay aliveForgive us your suffering and untimely deaths! Little girl, little boy, but are we too lateYour tiny hands hold our world’s fate! Little boy, little girl, wherever you liveNeed share in earth’s resources for quality of life! Children so frail, sad, poor, vulnerable and sick, So small, lost, forgotten, abandoned and weak, Need more than good wishes to live, grow and be well! Little Girl, little Boy, Little Ones……

James M. Oleske, MD, MPH Distinguished Professor Department of Pediatrics Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 39

Ars Literarium Volume IV


Priyadharshiny Sandanapitchai, MA Research Associate Rutgers School of Nursing 40

Certainty in Uncertainty Circumstances and surrounding forces present an uncertainty, Which thrusts a surrender to the uncertainty that lurks around, Producing a powerlessness to change uncertainty to certainty, And creating a perception that uncertainty is certain Thereby clouding the vision and Leading to the acceptance of a certainty in uncertainty Think for a moment‌ Because we know that it is uncertain We are therefore comforted that the knowledge of our uncertainty creates a certain certainty within us

Hilda Aluko, MSN, FNP-BC, APN-C Family Nurse Practitioner Rutgers School of Nursing, Rutgers Community Health Center 41

Ars Literarium Volume IV

American Midas

Michael Teters, DABR Medical Physicist, Asst. Professor/Adjunct Professor Rutgers g School of Health Related Professions 42

Embers Like a hot gust of summer He swept into my office “Fix me,” he declared One hand on the door Another on his cane Commanding me to Will away the chill that had entered his life I had no words for this man who had Blazed through life All on his own I had no words to say That I had no remedy for the cancer Now carving its own way through his body Unrelenting, icy fingers Reaching their way up his veins I told him, “We’ll do our best” “If it’s anyone, it’ll be you.” And still I saw the first flicker of fear in his eyes And in some way I felt responsible Like it was my hand on that door That finally let the cold creep in. Catherine Ye Class of 2022 Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

White White walls, white tiles— white cells throughout those halls. His physician knows it’s not enough—though she tries, when she works those long calls. Hours pass, or perhaps days? Another crash, another nurse will shout. In those white halls she stays. her empty gaze reflected on sterile trays. Once a bright light burned in her gaze, drive her through classes and aways. She looks back, full out doubt— and thinks back to when they called it burnout. Leukemia back but the child was there— all four years in his pearly smile. Perhaps, to have him in her care another day makes it all worthwhile.

Ibraheem Shaikh Class of 2022 Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 43

Ars Literarium Volume IV

For my abuelita who forgets You need to eat. Your bones are frail and your memory is fading. Eat more than just crackers. Drink more than just tea. You are a pudgy baby-woman that needs sustenance. You need to eat. I will put a funnel in your mouth and pour in love, steak and maybe gravy. We care so much for you that we are telling you you’re a stubby twig. You need to eat. We love you. But you need to eat.

Sophia Lukac Daughter of Dr. David Lukac, Associate Professor of Department of Microbiology Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 44


Elena Lukac Daughter of Dr. David Lukac, Associate Professor of Department of Microbiology Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 45

Ars Literarium Volume IV



Mahir Sufian Class of 2022 Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 47

“Language, that most human invention, can enable what, in principle, should not be possible. It can allow all of us, even the congenitally blind, to see with another person’s eyes.” - Oliver Sacks